Next steps

Revd Katie Tupling (bottom right) pictured with colleaguesOur 2021 Disability Conference featured a wealth of wisdom from disabled people and relevant organisations. Below you'll find video interviews, FAQs and helpful resources to guide you in your next steps to becoming a more accessible church for all.


What terminology should I use?
It's always important to ask the individual. If you're talking with someone, find out what they prefer, and respect a person's individual choice.

Very good research shows that most autistic people like to be called autistic people - and the proper term for a group of autistic people is a group of autistic people!

Autism isn't something we can put down somewhere else - where you're saying 'person with autism' it's as if you've left it on the sofa for a while and then nipped down to the shops and hope it's still there when you come back. So many people are wary of saying 'we're with autism'. It would be like saying I'm a person with whiteness or I'm a person that is with Britishness. It's an awkard thing to say; it doesn't feel right.

Ann Memmott

If you could get all churches to implement one change which would help disabled children, what would it be?
Talk to people and learn from them - families, disabled people themselves, others on this journey. Make sure this is ‘owned’ within church leadership, changing the culture.

Mark, Additional Needs Alliance

How do churches manage the conflicting needs of different disabilities?
It takes a lot of thinking and a lot of talking, a lot of planning and working through stuff. And sometimes that's what's needed.

It's about not giving up, but continuing to look for options and ways to make this work.

Mark, Additional Needs Alliance

I'd like to learn Makaton or British Sign Language. Where do I start?
Google 'Where to learn British Sign Language'! There's lots of information online about basic signs and things that there.

And then maybe you could join a deaf society or diocese that actually have deaf people within it and learn that way, or meet deaf people and say 'oh, how did you learn sign language?' Ask them and get their advice and their help and their support. Don't be frightened - approach them. Ask them - say, 'oh, I'm interested'. And they'll be really excited that actually someone's making the effort and wanting to learn, and that's really important.

The Revd Susan Myatt

Even if all you learn - and this is true of BSL too - but if you say Jesus and that's the one word you have learned, you are helping somebody, and it's about learning that vocabulary.

Count Everyone In

Count Everyone In will be offering a Christian Makaton course soon - do get in touch with them to register your interest.


Watch a personal message from the Archbishop of Canterbury and hear from our amazing speakers below.

Including children, young people and adults with additional needs in Church
Additional Needs Alliance

View the transcript

Find out more about the Additional Needs Alliance

Including autistic adults and children in Church
Ministry, disability and art
Emma Major, licensed lay minister

View the transcript

Follow Emma on Twitter

Including people with sight loss in Church
Including Deaf people in church
The Revd Susan Myatt

View the transcript

Ordained ministry and disabilities
The Revd Canon Val Plumb

View the transcript

Including people with hearing loss in church
The inclusion of adults with learning disabilities
Disability and later life
The Revd Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt

View the transcript

Page last updated: Thursday 27th January 2022 6:32 PM
Powered by Church Edit